As Desmond Tutu Goes Home, The World Mourns An Iconoclast
By Thandisizwe Mgudlwa
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has joined fellow world leaders in mourning South Africa’s anti-apartheid activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu.
Tutu who has died in Cape Town on the morning of Sunday, December 26, 2021, was 90 years of age.
In a message of condolence to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the People of the Republic of South Africa, and the family of the Tutu family, Kenyatta mourned the ever-smiling Archbishop Desmond Tutu as an African icon of freedom, peace and reconciliation.
“The passing away of Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a big blow not only to the Republic of South Africa where he leaves behind huge footprints as an anti-apartheid hero but to the entire African continent where he is
deeply respected and celebrated as a peacemaker.
Through his distinguished work over the years as a cleric, freedom fighter and peacemaker, Archbishop Tutu inspired a generation ofAfrican leaders who embraced his non-violent approaches in the liberation struggle,” Kenyatta hailed the former head of the South African Anglican Church.
Kenyatta wished Ramaphosa, South Africans and the family of the departed prelate God’s comfort as they come to terms with his demise.
“To my brother President Cyril Ramaphosa, the People of the Republic of South Africa and the family, friends and relatives of Archbishop Tutu, I pray to God to cover you all with his calming fortitude during this difficult period of mourning,” Kenyatta condoled.
Born in 1931, Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu was a long-serving Anglican Church cleric and anti-apartheid campaigner who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.
He was later appointed to chair his country’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation said Tutu will be remembered in Russia as an outstanding human rights defender and spiritual leader who was highly respected not only in South Africa but throughout the world.
The Russian Federation added: “Tutu took an active part in the fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa and in the subsequent formation of a democratic civil society in the country.
Meanwhile, the Embassy of France in South Africa also pays tribute to the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu.
The French Embassy said of Tutu, “A man of peace who led the way for modern South Africa and whose selfless guidance and spiritual leadership stretched far across the borders of South Africa, reaching the hearts of the people of France.
The Arch stood out as a leader who led by example with his own life and actions, including in the struggle against apartheid, bringing kindness and healing in the darkest of times.
Even after your death, your light will never cease to shine.”
France also noted, “We have been honoured to partner with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation on several occasions. This included support for the Art for the Arch auction in September 2021, as part of the Foundation’s 90@90 campaign which aims to raise R90-million for the Tutu Legacy Fund – from 7 October 2020 to 7 October 2022. We look forward to continuing our partnership in honour of your legacy, French Embassy added.